Saturday, Oct 12, 6:00 p.m. at the Hoffman-Gordon home in East Sonora, featuring the “delightful and stunning” Hallifax & Jeffrey, duo violas da gamba.
Plan on arriving at 6:00 pm to enjoy pre-concert casual dining prepared by www.chefdavecooks.com augmented by local wines. The Salon Program of duo viols with Peter Hallifax and Julie Jeffrey offers a varied and fascinating exploration of Spanish, French, English and German music for violas da gamba. After the concert, desserts will be served and you will have the opportunity to meet and mingle with our guest artists. Space is limited and advance reservations are required. Admission is $35. For reservation information call (209) 536-6330 or purchase online.
The program starts with the first printed music for viol, written by Diego Ortiz, a Spaniard living in Naples in the mid 16th century. Then we move to Britain, for music by the eccentric Scot, Tobias Hume written around 1610, and the famous violist Christopher Simpson, written around 1650. Finally, we play a suite by the irascible genius Matthew Locke, the other of the last of the great English violists, also written in the mid 17th century.
The next great period for the viol occurred in France, when the invention of the metal wound string in the late 17th century enabled the French to add an extra bass string, and decades of royal patronage gave rise to a flourishing of viol players and composers, right up to the French Revolution. We start with elegant music by the great Francois Couperin, and soon move on to more idiomatic music by the famous violist-composers Le Sieur de Sainte-Colombe and Marin Marais. We briefly detour to Germany, represented by a lovely chaconne by Schenck, and, of course, some selected Bach. We close with a hilarious piece of French decadence, a programmatic representation of a hunt by Louis de Caix D’Hervelois.
For nearly three centuries (1500 – 1800), the viol (Italian “viola da gamba”, French “viole”, Dutch “viool”) was the string instrument of choice in Europe, until displaced in the eighteenth century by the louder, coarser (and easier to play) violin family.
The viol had always been fabulously suited to the subtleties and intimacies of chamber music, and so fell out of se as the newly fashionable orchestra filled the larger halls and opera pits of the time.
Viols have six or seven strings, and are tuned in fourths (like a guitar) around a central third. The bass member of the family was always the principal solo instrument; because of its great range, the bass viol could play bass lines, complex chords and higher melodies, which inspired a rich repertoire for two viols, with or without accompaniment.
Salon Concert Menu
Deep-fried cheese and rice balls
Taramasalata and Tirosalata with toasted pita chips
Marinated Olives with orange zest, lemon thyme, crushed red peppers
Assorted Artisan CheeseswithItalian Breads
Tuscan Grilled VegetableswithBalsamic drizzle
Moroccan Grilled SalmonwithTurkish yogurt
Tortellini Salad with Salami, fresh herbs, roasted peppers, and onion
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Date-filled pastry in honey syrup
Chocolate-Amareno Cherry Push-ups with Mascapone cream and hazelnuts
Greek Yogurt Panna Cotta with port infused peaches